There’s no better time to visit the region Sir Joh called home – it’s festival season.
Standing on the forested brow of famed South Burnett property Bethany, soaking up the sweeping landscape and taking it all in, it’s not hard to see why Queensland’s longest serving premier was so fond of Kingaroy.
It’s where pork-barreling king Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen ran cattle and harvested his crops while his wife Lady Flo toiled in the kitchen baking her pumpkin scones.
Today, the century-old property continues to drive tourist interest and that is what prompted Sir Joh’s son John and wife Karyn to offer purpose-built (dog-friendly) cottages for overnight stays and provide guided tours and morning/afternoon tea when they took it over.
With the food festival season in full swing, Bethany, which is an eight-minute drive from Kingaroy, is the ideal base for those keen to explore what this part of Queensland has to offer.
Glamping tents at Bethany.
“This year for the weekend of Kingaroy’s BaconFest we’ve partnered with the Bell Tent Co. and are offering glamping packages,” Mr Bjelke-Petersen said.
“It is something a little bit different, and there really is nowhere better to sleep under the stars.”
Those who have been to the South Burnett before will know that it’s renowned for its peanuts, produce, and picturesque landscape.
In fact, it’s home to the biggest pork processing plant in Australia.
The community is committed to the Locavore Movement that encourages people to purchase local produce within a 165km radius of where they live.
Introduced by local chef Roberta Schablon, the adoption of this support-local movement instigated the birth of the Farm 2 Fork Collective – a website and shop where visitors and locals can source a range of local produce.
Lavender-inspired Devonshire tea.
“Our committee is made up of local food and wine producers, agribusiness operators and community members who are passionate about supporting local and want to see the economy prosper,” Mrs Schablon said.
The Collective has 50 producers on its online directory, with 35 of those available to purchase at the Wooroolin store.
“We’ve got everything from paddock-to-plate beef, lamb and pork, coffee, honey, eggs, preserves, fresh produce and vegetables,” she added.
“We invite anyone and everyone to come and check it out and taste the best of the region, I’ll be catering the Long Table Breakfast at this year’s BaconFest, so come along and say hi.”
Besides the incredible fresh produce, it is always nice to wash it down with something crisp. There’s a lot of that in these parts too.
Those with a taste for quality Verdelhos, tasty Semillons and beautiful expressions of shiraz, you’re in luck.
While there are plenty of wineries to choose from, Kingsley Grove Estate is the ‘Kingaroy winery’.
Kingsley Grove Winery. Photo Tourism and Events Queensland
It’s a self-sustaining operation that is all about berry to bottle. Aside from a great drop of just about all the varietals, they also produce wine ice cream and wood-fired pizzas.
Barrambah Cellars and Clovely Estate are also worth checking out and for something a bit different, if you are a lavender lover, then Pottique Lavender Farm is a must-visit.
The team here produces lavender liqueur and other drops at its cellar door.
You can even indulge in a lavender-inspired Devonshire tea – lavender scones with lavender and … lavender tea, properly splendid!
Get starry-eyed: Kingaroy Observatory is the largest self-funded astro-tourism business in Queensland. It's located just five minutes from the Kingaroy CBD. A night tour with James ‘StarMan’ Barclay is a must. Not only will you we wowed by the sky, but you’ll be also in the company of an expert with 68 years of science under his belt.
Visit Lake Boondoomba: Camp overnight and throw a line in, take a dip, swim and sail – it's up to you. There are also self-contained cabins, caravan sites and camping available by the lake.
Kingaroy Heritage Museum: If you’re curious to know more about the history of Kingaroy’s peanut industry travel back in time as you wander displays of agricultural machinery built by local inventors and dating back to the early 1900s.
Hit the Art Beat: There’s more local colour on show across the road at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery. This beautiful Art Deco building houses a range of collections featuring new and established local artists.
The South Burnette landscape.
The South Burnett is a couple of hundred clicks north-west of Brisbane. The ideal time to head to the region is during August when the Kingaroy BaconFest puts the sizzle into the place (19–21 August).
Not only will you experience the best pork products around, but you can also rub shoulders with culinary kings Miguel Maestre and Matt Golinski.
To book a glamping stay, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.